Forward Martin Susters hails from Latvia’s capital city of Riga but spent a number of his junior years in the UK including spells with Nottingham, Sheffield and Peterborough. It was with the Phantoms that the skater made his senior debut – the exceptional young talent amassing 16 EPL appearances, 4 cup outings and icing in 5 playoff games in 2014/15 aged just 16 and making his mark by scoring twice.
Having impressed when stepping up from the junior ranks, Martins Susters was then promoted to the senior side full time in 2015/16 and this term he featured 50 times for Peterborough across all competitions managing 6 goals and 10 assists in the process. He also claimed 11 points in just 3 fixtures for the under 18s and 6 in only 2 games for the Peterborough Islanders of the NIHL South’s second tier.
Martins Susters extended his stay with the Phantoms for 2016/17 following a Latvian Nationals Training Camp and it was an exceptional year for the now 18 year old who averaged almost a point a game. In 43 league outings, the forward found the target 20 times and played a role in a further 18 goals to total 38 points. His campaign was halted in February 2017 following internal issues at the side but he had already established himself as one of the division’s brightest prospects.
Last season Martins Susters opted to test himself back in Latvia as he joined HK Riga in the MHL (Minor Hockey League) – a major junior ice hockey league featuring sides from across Eurasia and players up to the maximum age of 20. Teams involved included feeder clubs for top tier professional organisations in the likes of Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine. Here Susters made 52 appearances for Latvia’s only participant in the league – the same league in which new Dynamos import Edmund Piacka also featured during 2012/13. Now though the Latvian is back in British ice hockey’s second tier looking to re-establish himself as one of the league’s top talents having penned a deal bringing him to Gillingham for the 2018/19 campaign.
“Even at just 19, Martins is an excellent young player capable of putting up points in this league. He arrives having previously been one of the brightest prospects of the EPL with the Peterborough Phantoms and having played in a league last season in which players were vying for the attention of professional teams in Russia’s KHL. He has invaluable experience, is a strong player for his age and has a keen eye for a pass or a goal. He’s hungry to make his mark at this level again and I’m confident he will become an important signing for us in 2018/19”.